Superintendent Consolidation meeting

To the Editor,

On Sept. 30, 2013 I received an email from Angela Newell, the Administrative Assistant for the Carbon County Board of Commissioners setting dates for discussion and hearing regarding the consolidation of the Superintendent of Schools office. Since the dates appear to correspond with the regular commissioner meetings, I assume that the meetings will take place in the commissioner’s office. The schedule given to me is as follows: Nov. 7, 2013, 10 A.M. – General Discussion Nov. 21, 2013, 10 A.M. – File Resolution of Intent to Consolidate the Office of the Superintendent of Schools Dec. 9, 2013, TBD – Public Hearing regarding Resolution of Intent Dec. 16, 2013, TBD – File Order to Consolidate Office. I also received a copy of a letter to the commissioners from Rennie Wittman, Carbon County Deputy Attorney, responding to the commissioner’s request for an opinion regarding the consolidation of the Superintendent of Schools office. In that letter she spells out the laws, the procedures, and the timeframe, including notice to the newspaper. By law the commissioners have every right to consolidate the office of the Superintendent of Schools and other counties have already done so. Usually those are counties that do not have rural schools or perhaps a lack of interest for any qualified person to run for the office.

Some appear to have done so for political reasons. Depending on personal experience and opinions, these consolidations are said to work, or not to work. Perhaps a savings to the budget is expressed. I personally believe that there would be little, if any, savings in this case. If the office were consolidated the county would need to contract for a qualified County Superintendent of Schools to perform services as required by law. Personally I would like to say that it has been my pleasure to serve as the Carbon County Superintendent of Schools ever since I was appointed in July of 1991 and elected there after. My present term of office ends in December 2014. I feel I have done a good job helping the schools, home schools, taxpayers and the rural schools that do not have a superintendent. Earlier this year I mentioned to the commissioners that I was thinking about retiring at the end of my present term. I stated that if my part time assistant, Lori Kane, became full time, she would continue to do a wonderful job helping with the tasks of my office. After visiting with other County Superintendents, some home school parents, the Luther staff and board, as well as other school districts, I told the commissioners that I feel the office of Carbon County Superintendent of Schools is important and I would run again if the office is not consolidated.

At the Oct. 21 the commissioners indicated to me that they do want input before they make their decision. If you have an opinion, one way or the other, about the consolidation of the Carbon County Superintendent of Schools office, you need to make your voice heard through letters, email, phone calls or other ways of communicating with the commissioners so they can gather information to aid in their decision. If you wish, I would appreciate copies of correspondence you choose to submit or testimony if you choose to attend the meetings. Contact Information: Commissioners: John Grewell, Doug Tucker, and John Prinkii Email: commissioners@co.carbon.mt.us Mail: P.O. Box 887, Red Lodge, MT 59014 Web Site: co.carbon.mt.us (Here you can find agenda, minutes and much more) Sincerely,

Jerry Scott

Bridger